David Restrepo and Juliana Zárate

Can Colombia’s legislative proposal to legalize coca protect its living Indigenous legacy while helping to build a society inspired by coca cultures and their focus on community?

On August 25, 2020, a proposal presented in Colombia’s Congress to regulate coca and its derivatives, including cocaine, made history. It was the first time, since the early twentieth century prohibition of cocaine, that any legislature anywhere on Earth dared to raise the issue of regulating this drug. It was also the first time that Colombia seriously considered legalizing the coca leaf; taking it out of its current legal gray zone and adopting parts of Peru and Bolivia’s more effective regulatory models. In Peru alone there are about six million people who use legal coca products (about 10% of the total production of coca leaf), according to a recent official report by Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida)continue reading.

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